Portrait of the artist looking for the red EXIT signs?

Nicholas DiGiovanni is a novelist, essayist and journalist. Born in New Jersey and raised in Yonkers, New York, he is the author of a novella, Rip, published in November 2011 by Black Angel Press. His fiction has appeared in Paterson Literary Review, Identity Theory, The Caribbean Writer, and elsewhere.

Five times since early 2010 he has been chosen for fiction-writing fellowships/residencies at the acclaimed Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.

DiGiovanni founded the Delaware Valley Poetry Festival, held annually in western New Jersey since 1998, which inclided many widely-acclaimed poets including Robert Pinsky, Rita Dove, Louise Gluck, Paul Muldoon and Gerald Stern.

14 thoughts on “About the author

  1. I am on the editorial board of the Yonkers Historian, the official publication of the Yonkers Historical Society. We are interested in publishing your wonderful piece “City of Gracious Living” which was forwarded to me by John Rubbo in Mayor Amicone’s office. Would you consider giving us permission to reprint? Please let me know. You can email me at joanjenn@gmail.com. Thank you for a wonderful literary journey through historic Yonkers!

  2. You know how damned lifelike Pickman’s paintings were — how we all wondered where he got those faces.
    Well — that paper wasn’t a photograph of any background, after all. What it showed was simply the monstrous being he was painting on that awful canvas. It was the model he was using — and its background was merely the wall of the cellar studio in minute detail. But by God, Eliot, it was a photograph from life!

    — H.P. Lovecraft, “Pickman’s Model”

  3. “An artist is somebody who produces things that people don’t need to have.”
    -Andy Warhol

    Need I say more? Ok. How about “I had a lot of dates but I decided to stay home and dye my eyebrows.” -Andy Warhol Just kidding! You are looking a bit Warholesque in this photo.

    However the most fitting in describing you would be: “I lived to write, and wrote to live.” -Samuel Rogers

  4. I just read your account of the Nodine Hill water tower collapse. Where can I get a copy of the original newspaper story? I was an ll-year-old who lived across the street from the water tower on Prescott Street and witnessed the collapse. I don’t recall any story of a boy causing the destruction of the tower. JWL

    1. JWL: What you read is fiction — an excerpt from the manuscript of a yet-to-be-published novel titled HALF MOON. I’m glad my fiction was so realistic that it felt like fact! And I’d love to hear your first-person account of the water-tower collapse, which I heard about from my late father. N.D.

  5. rita dove! wow…
    i was wondering if other writers are reading at the event? i WOULD sell some organs to read and/or meet ms. dove.

    and i want to do more reading events. at present i get to do performance poetry, not slamming or spoke word though i respect both, but rarely a reading.

    if there are other writers reading, i’d love to submit a sample and my (slim) publishing history.

    thanks for the moment

    -tai

  6. I went to kindergarten and firstgrade at No. 9 School in Yonkers in 1940 and 1941 when I lived first on Vineyard Avenue and then on Fairview Street. I worked for 32 years as a reporter/editor at The Hour in Norwalk, CT, where I wrote “My View” columns that I’ve republished on hubpages.com. I refer to Yonkers in a few of the columns. My blog contains stories about my Uncle Bill, who was killed in action when his ship was sunk in
    WW II, and my grandfather, a prizefighter out of Yonkers who fought under the name of Shamus O’Brien (AKA Michael Hogan.) I love to hear stories about the “City of Gracious Living.”

  7. Hey – loved reading the piece about Yonkers asscciations. Thank you… and then the Danko clips… I loved the guy in both incarnations and was lucky to see him with the band at the Tarrytown Music House. I am going to listen to the two versions now.

    Best Regards,
    James

    1. James:
      Glad you liked the stream-of-consciousness piece about Yonkers — what your link to the city? Amazed and jealous — Danko, Robertson et al played in Tarrytown?! The first version of the song is classic, of course, but Danko’s later version has a poignancy and beauty of its own.

  8. Nicholas,

    Very kind of you to note my note. I was born and raised and still live in Yonkers. My family lived on the top of Nodine Hill on Spruce Street and I recall hearing about the old water tower collapsing. I was anticipating learning more but I saw you mentioned that it was a fictional account.

    Danko’s voice has plaintive maybe plangent quality I love to hear. Maybe the coolest thing I saw in Yonkers was a celebration of Hubert Sumlin’s birthday. Hubert was Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf’s guitarist. This was just a few years ago and Levon Helm was drumming with the rest of an all-star cast.

    Best Regards,

    James

    1. James:
      My family lived on Warburton Avenue, then moved to the Mulford Gardens apartments, and then lived on Oliver Avenue just few blocks away from Spruce Street, also on Nodine Hill, I played baseball with the Park Hill Little league at Sullivan’s Oval which was bordered by Spruce Street and Van Cortland Park Avenue.

      As for the water tower, I fictionalized what happened — the details — but there was indeed a water tower atop Nodine Hill that collapsed, sending a deluge down the hill. The present water tower was the replacement. My father, who grew up on Waverly Street, told me about the water-tower collapse and, I believe, actually remember it was his childhood — I forget the exact year it happened. I’ve seen photos of the original water tower.

  9. BTW, Robertson did not play in Tarrytown when I saw The Band, this show was around 1990 or so after the rift with Robertson

  10. I lived In yonkers n.y. As boy , in mulford gardens. E mail meor call 407 312 2459 from 5am. To 7 pm.

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